San Marcos' Annual Celtic Festival is around the corner. Dee Ann Prince and Merlin the Wise entertain children of all ages with magic, music and puppetry. Photos courtesy of Linda Kelsey-Jones
4th Annual Celtic festival
Lift your spirits, liven up your January and “warm the cockles of your heart" – the public is invited to the 4th annual San Marcos Celtic Festival, Sunday, Jan. 20 from noon to 6 p.m. at the San Marcos Activity Center.
Normally closed on Sundays, the Celtic Festival will fill most of the center’s rooms with lots of entertainment, vendors and activities.
The main room will be busy and bustling; the stage is full all day with five Irish/Celtic bands and three styles of dancing and San Marcos bagpiper Robert Eby will bridge intervals between the bands.
A new favorite, coming in from Lubbock, is the Caprock Border Morris "side" team that describes themselves as “Ferocious Folk Dancers from the Llano Estacado.”
“Border” or “Rag” Morris is an ancient folk-dance style from the Border country of England and Wales. Dressed in rags and tatters, wearing bells and face-paint, whooping and clashing sticks, the Border Morris “side” dances the highways and byways of the countryside, capering through the complex figures of dances like “Hell’s Bells” and “The Belligerent Blue Jays.” The Texas Tech Border Morris dance side is sponsored by the Vernacular Music Center.
More than 20 area artisan/vendors will be selling high-quality, mostly Celtic-themed gift items and artworks.
Hands-on activities for all ages will include very popular soft-tip archery and art activities will be facilitated by Wimberley’s Emily Ann Theater, Texas State Art Education majors and Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos' ArtSpace.
In the foyer Merlin the Wise and his assistants – including his owl – will entertain children of all ages with magic, music and puppetry. At the end of the main hallway an open session area will be set up and area musicians are invited to bring their instruments to play together throughout the event.
Students from the Inishfree Irish Dancing School of Austin evoke enthusiastic audience response each year.
Additional vendor’s both will be set up in the front hallway, and weather permitting, some will be set up outside as well.
In a quieter performance room Austin’s Doc Grauzer on harp and storytelling will alternate with Sean Orr, who will conduct fiddle workshops and Bruce Singleton, who will talk about bagpipes.
On the lawn will be representatives of the Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA) with displays of historic information and artifacts and as well as demonstrations (weather permitting).
Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub and Wake the Dead Coffeeshop will provide food, sundries coffee, tea and pastries for sale throughout the day.
This free annual family-friendly event is presented by local Irish/Celtic band O’Malarkey, the San Marcos Area Arts Council and the city of San Marcos with support from the San Marcos Arts Commission and our growing list of sponsors including: Dr. James Baker and Diana Baker, Lone Star Orthopedic and Globe Productions.